Sarvodaya – the Welfare of All

N Changkakoti


The author has described how the word Sarvodaya came into being. In
fact, the reading of John Ruskin’s book, Unto this Last not only made a
deep impact on Gandhiji’s life, but it turned out to be a very important
turning event of his life. He was so impressed by the book and its
thoughts that he started changing his style of life from the very next
day. He published a brief summary of this book in Gujarati and named
it as Sarvodaya. The author of this article has translated it as “welfare
of all”. Another version more popular is “good of all.” This word did
not have great currency when Gandhiji was alive.
Sometime after his death, the mantle of leadership of the Gandhian
fraternity fell on late Acharya Vinoba Bhave. It was he who found that
if Gandhiji’s entire philosophy is to be described in one word, then
Sarvodaya was the most appropriate word. Later on, he also conceived
the idea of a loose fraternity of believers in truth and non-violence as
Sarvodaya Samaj. When Shri Jayaprakash Narayan joined the Gandhian
fraternity, he was also greatly instrumental in popularizing the
expression, Sarvodaya, i.e., “Good of all.”
A former policeman who rose to the post of Director General of Police,
Assam, Shri Changkakoti was attracted to Gandhian thought and the
Sarvodaya ideal right from his student days. On his retirement from
active service, he has also gradually engaged himself in various
activities of public well-being. He is at present heading the Go-Seva
Samity of Assam which is a Gandhian organization of long standing. Shri
Changkakoti’s article gains importance as it is an article written by an
ex-policeman. And secondly, because he is a very serious and keen
student of Gandhian thought. In his own humble way, he also keeps
himself engaged in Gandhian activities of different kinds.
Ishani came across this article in the popular daily, The Assam
Tribune, and found it interesting. The readers of Ishani are familiar
with Shri Changkakoti as we have published his other articles also in
the past. We are happy to get another opportunity to reproduce his
latest article, which he has created in a style which will be easily
understood by any person concerned with healthy changes in our

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